New hospital to provide child-friendly design, aid in physician specialist recruiting
WICHITA –Wesley Medical Center is expanding its children’s services and renovating its current inpatient pediatric areas with the construction of a $28 million dedicated children’s hospital on its campus.
“There’s nothing more important in my life than my five children,” said Bill Voloch, Wesley’s interim president and CEO. “That’s why, as a father, I am so thrilled to share this news. This new hospital will provide a new, unprecedented level of pediatric care to the families we serve.”
Included in the project is a complete renovation of Wesley’s pediatric areas to provide a safe, welcoming environment for children and parents. The children’s hospital will also help attract additional pediatric specialist physicians to add new and enhanced services to those already available.
The project will feature a new façade on the hospital’s Hillside exterior, with a renovated entrance, lobby and elevators. Additionally, it will include a complete renovation of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, creating a new, all-private 15-bed PICU. In addition, Wesley’s 30-bed pediatric unit will receive aesthetic and heating and cooling system upgrades.
“I know first-hand how important the environment of care is for pediatric patients and their families,” said Dr. Lindall Smith, MD, medical director of Wesley’s pediatric intensive care unit. “That’s why this project includes the little things – like accommodations for parents to sleep in the room with their children – that will be incredibly impactful for children and parents.”
The hospital will also extend the children’s hospital theme to other areas of the hospital that may treat pediatric patients, such as the pediatric emergency room and radiology department, Dr. Smith said.
Wesley currently offers care in 20 different pediatric subspecialties – from its pediatric surgery clinic to pediatric oncology services and more – but is actively recruiting additional specialists to enhance and add additional services to the new hospital. The recruitment of new physicians and these facility enhancements will offer the specialized care that many pediatric patients currently have to leave Wichita to receive.
“The improvements to our facility will make the patient experience for children a much more pleasant and comforting one,” said Tripp Owings, Wesley’s vice president of pediatric operations and business development. “But a facility like this is also necessary to recruit the physicians needed to build out the enhanced slate of services we envision. We are already seeing increased interest, and we expect to announce a significant number of new physicians and services over the coming months of the hospital’s construction.”
Wesley also plans to continue the development of its WESLEYCare Telemedicine Network to help extend these pediatric services throughout Kansas, reducing the need for patients in rural areas to travel to Wichita.
“We want to provide services for our pediatric patients as close to home as possible,” Voloch said. “No parents want to travel unnecessarily for care when their child is hurting.”
Wesley is still in the process of finalizing plans and timelines, but construction is expected to take 12-18 months. The hospital will also be conducting focus groups in the coming months around the naming and branding of the hospital and will be seeking input from patients, staff, physicians and the community.
This is one of several recent investments Wesley has made in new and upgraded facilities. The hospital completed a $36 million renovation of its women’s hospital last month.
“Wesley has an incredible team that provides exceptional care to our pediatric patients,” Voloch said. “Now, they’ll have a dedicated facility that matches their level of compassion and expertise.”
For more information about Wesley Medical Center and its pediatric services, please visit www.wesleymc.com.
Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER and Galichia ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, WesleyCare Clinics and the Pediatric Center of Kansas. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.